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Tick Bites Can Cause Deadly Pork, Beef Allergies.

Tick bites cause a number of health conditions, from rashes, paralysis to Lyme disease. There is already a long list of problems linked to ticks and researchers found another reason to hate these parasites.A

A new study, published in the ( Journal of Immunology ,A shows that the healthy people who had tick bites may abruptly develop a meat allergy. Researchers said that the allergic reaction can be life-threatening.A

Exposure to pork or beef may cause mild hives, nausea, vomiting and severe anaphylaxis that can lead to death. The meat allergy caused by tick bites may require people to avoid all kinds of mammalian meat as well as foods that only contain meat-based ingredients, the researchers said.A

"There's no way to prevent or cure this food allergy," Loren Erickson, researcher from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, said in a ( statement . "We don't know what it is about the tick bite that causes the meat allergy."A

Erickson and his team found that the lone star tick causes the allergic reactions. The researchers said following the affected people showed increased number of immune cells, called B cells.

Lone star ticks are commonly found in the southeastern and eastern U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Their bites can cause redness and discomfort.A

The increase then causes white blood cells to release antibodies, which leads to the allergic reaction to meat. Erickson then created a mouse model to further analyze the link between tick bites and meat allergy.

"This is the first clinically relevant model that I know of, so now we can go and ask a lot of these important questions," he said. "We can actually use this model to identify underlying causes of the meat allergy that may inform human studies."

The model would enable his team and other scientists to conduct "back-and-forth of experiments" before testing their findings with humans. Erickson said future animals studies may help find potential mechanisms that could guide the development of new treatments for allergic reactions.

Erickson said further studies are also needed to determine how tick bites cause a meat allergy and to find the main source of immune cells that cause the allergic reactions.

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Publication:Medical Daily
Date:Aug 22, 2019
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